THERE is little doubt that the appearance of Suzuki's latest Ignis is quirky.
But look underneath this initial impression and a remarkably capable little car emerges - especially in the 1.2 petrol SHVS all-wheel-drive version.
The Ignis is not a new kid on the block as it has been around for around 18 years but it has taken on a new appearance fuelled very much by Suzuki's proven expertise in small cars.
It certainly does not fit into any established slot in the marketplace.
It is tall for its size, lacks the chunky appearance of a crossover and occupies the mid ground of Suzuki's line-up: shorter than the Swift, longer than the Celerio, less capable off-road than the Jimny and cheaper than the Vitara.
This version also features four-wheel drive. It uses front-drive most of the time but via viscous coupling technology it brings the rear wheels into play when needed.
The SZ5 manual versions also come with SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki), a system that stores surplus energy in an extra battery and uses it in stop-start traffic, and to provide a helping hand in hard acceleration.
So, an interesting and very individual vehicle to say the least.
The five-door body comes with just one engine option the 1.2 Dualjet petrol four-cylinder which is an enjoyable combination in such a light body. Featuring a five-speed manual gearbox it is capable of 103mph and can sprint to 62mph in 11.5 seconds.
The Allgrip all-wheel-drive system decreases the seats-up luggage space from 267 to 204 litres; with the rear seats down.
Allgrip comes with Hill Descent Control (which works below 15mph in first and second gear, to give steady downhill progress in slimy conditions) and Grip Control (which detects low-speed slip and directs torque to the wheels that have grip).
The engine is always willing and enjoys being worked and it makes for an engaging drive as you have to make good use of the gearbox.
It is very easy to park because of its small dimensions and on the road features a pleasing degree of agility.